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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Lt 98, 1901

    Kress, Brother and Sister [D. H.]

    Oakland, California

    June 19, 1901

    Portions of this letter are published in HFM 50-51; 1MR 281-282; 7MR 327-328; 9MR 177. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Dear brother and sister Kress,—

    I have been in Oakland for two weeks attending the camp-meeting. I have labored very hard while here, for there was much to be done. The Lord is our only dependence. We must each stand in our lot and in our place, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 1

    We see the need of healthy action in the church. Those who have long known the truth, who stand in positions of trust, need to be imbued with the Holy Spirit, that they may be burning and shining lights in the world. The first question for Christians to ask is, “Have I the Holy Spirit?” The power of the church seems to be feeble and fragmentary. The practice of Bible principles is the only thing that will revive the church. Those who have had great light and many privileges are feeble and inefficient. O, what a sight for angels to behold!16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 2

    “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” [Revelation 3:14-21.]16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 3

    No one who claims to be in the service of God is to be an idle spectator. There is much work to be done. How are believers to be distinguished from unbelievers? “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] Let not the power of the truth be nullified by the practice of those who claim to follow its teachings. Let Christ’s disciples reveal His holy attributes. Let them consecrate themselves fully and entirely to God, leaving no part of the life to be controlled by Satan.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 4

    We need to be wide-awake that we may distinguish between the true and the false. Movements will be made by religious organizations which, though apparently designed to benefit the world, are not in accordance with God’s mind. In these movements we are to take no part. Many will give them their sympathy, thereby becoming entangled. Those who take part in the Lord’s service are to be clear-sighted, experienced men, men who can be trusted, who, seeing beneath the surface, will lift the voice in warning, saying, “Beware of false paths. This is the way; walk ye in it.” [Isaiah 30:21.] Many will agree to half-concealed plans, and will find themselves working on the enemy’s side.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 5

    The Lord desires His servants to be wise in regard to the working of the enemy, to know when to speak and when to keep silent. Workers are needed who will show the difference between the good and the evil, saying, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] In all that we do or say we are to be guided by the inspired record. “Thus saith the Lord,” is to be our rule of action. That which God forbids we are not to endorse. The instruction of His Word is to be brought into every transaction of life.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 6

    God desires those who are enlightened in regard to the teachings of His Word to go forth to declare the principles of true reform. They will have to meet and combat the trivial theories which men pick up and advance. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” [Jeremiah 23:28.] The great truths of the Word of God are to be made prominent. His glory is to be kept in view. His grand and saving tests are to be advanced.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 7

    The Lord desires those who take part in His work to be men of spiritual understanding, sensible men who will follow His way and make known His will. Their voices are to be heard amid the din and confusion of unconsecration. Those in the synagogue of Satan will profess to be converted, and unless God’s servants have keen eyesight, they will not discern the working of the power of darkness.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 8

    The message to the Laodicean church applies most decidedly to those whose religious experience is insipid, who do not bear decided witness in favor of the truth. God calls for a reform in His institutions, for they have become permeated with the spirit of the world. He calls upon all to bear decided testimony in favor of health reform. Meat should not be placed before the patients in our sanitariums.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 9

    Many have lost the power of the third angel’s message. Does not the fulfilling of the judgments pronounced so long ago call for an awakening among Seventh-day Adventists? Calmly and trustingly each believer should stand in his lot and in his place, strong in the strength of the Mighty One.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 10

    We have no right to tax nerve and muscle so severely that we readily become excited, speaking words that dishonor God. This is not in the Lord’s order. He wants us to be always calm and forbearing. However inconsiderate a course others may pursue, we are to represent Christ, doing as He would do under similar circumstances. We are to obey the words, “Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” [Matthew 10:16.] We are to keep our nerves in such a healthy condition that we shall ever be calm in speech and righteous in action.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 11

    Let those who occupy positions of trust in God’s cause keep a strict guard over themselves. They are never to feel at liberty to speak condemnatory words. They are not to feel that their position gives them the right to be lordly and dictatorial. They are to honor their position by being true followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, carrying their responsibilities with the constant realization that they are in full view of the heavenly universe. Decided work must be done. Those who are acting a part in God’s great firm are to prepare for emergencies. They are to be sure to talk with God before they talk with those who have erred or are going astray. There are many things to be corrected, but let us always remember that Mercy is the twin sister of Justice. Let our work be such that of it can be spoken the words, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” [Psalm 85:10.]16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 12

    Great reforms are to be made. Many changes will be required as we strive to advance the cause of reform. But reforms which belong to the future must not be brought into the present. We are to advance step by step. Reforms are not to be brought in as innovations, but as natural consequences. Then they will be great blessings.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 13

    There is danger that in presenting the principles of health reform some will be in favor of bringing in changes that would be for the worse instead of for the better. Health reform must not be urged in a radical manner. As the situation now is, we cannot say that milk and eggs and butter should be entirely discarded. We must be careful to make no innovations, because under the influence of extreme teaching there are conscientious souls who will surely go to extremes. Their physical appearance will injure the cause of health reform, for few knew how to properly supply the place of that which they discard.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 14

    The Lord desires us to be wise to resist the evil and discern the good. God has been giving me instruction that He will give men in various countries ability to produce healthful foods, so that the human machinery can be kept in good order without the use of any food which contains injurious properties. By His Holy Spirit the Lord will guide His workers in the preparation of foods. And the profits from these foods are not to be used merely for the benefit of the sanitariums. God builds no such partition walls. These profits are to be used for the good of suffering humanity everywhere.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 15

    In the field in which you are working, there is much to be learned regarding the preparation of healthful foods. Foods that are perfectly healthful and yet inexpensive are to be made. To the poor the gospel of health is to be preached. In the manufacture of these foods ways will be opened up whereby those who accept the truth and lose their work will be able to earn a living. The productions which God has supplied are to be made up into healthful foods, which people can prepare for themselves. Then we can appropriately present the principles of health reform, and those who hear will be convinced of the consistency of these principles and will accept them. But until we can present health-reform foods which are palatable, nourishing, and yet inexpensive, we are not at liberty to present health reform in all its bearings.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 16

    God desires His faithful ones to act as His helping hand in breaking the spell which Satan has cast upon the world. Clearly and distinctly, believers are to sound the message of warning, calling to higher and nobler aims those who have been deceived by the enemy. Through them the light of truth is to shine forth to those who are in darkness. Into their own lives and the lives of others they are to bring brightness and happiness. No man liveth to himself. No man can injure himself without affecting those connected with him. No man can live out the pure principles of truth without drawing others closer to the Saviour.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 17

    Let God’s people consider this matter and strive earnestly to keep themselves in the very best condition of health. Let no one be presumptuous, over-working when he should rest. We know that to the earnest laborer the work seems to move very slowly. He sees that many of those who claim to believe in Christ move tardily, and that their work is incomplete. Sad at heart at the defective work done, he takes hold with such earnest zeal that he does double work himself. But if he is physically weak his health is injured, and the cause of God is helped less than if he had given himself more consideration.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 18

    Now, my brother, you are one who can afford to wait. Do not imperil your life by your efforts. The work may seem to move slowly, but you have no reason to doubt the final issue. Remember that God is behind the scenes. He knows the end from the beginning. He can see the result of man’s devising, and wrongdoers will not go unpunished.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 19

    You and your wife have been appointed to work in advanced lines; but you must make haste slowly, that your life may not be sacrificed. Walk and work by faith, but not imprudently. Do not exhaust your fund of strength, leaving nothing from which to draw. You are dear to the heart of the tender, compassionate Saviour. He will co-operate with you, using you as His helping hand. You are to work as a reformer. Remember this. Thank God that He has strengthened you to work for Him.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 20

    I have fears for you. You see the great need of the work, and you are tempted to use your strength improvidently. In this matter you and I are not as wise as God requires us to be. Again and again the Lord has instructed me to guard my strength. I am not to do detail work, but am to spare myself, that in an emergency I may be prepared for action. And to you this instruction is given. We are not to feel called upon to answer every call to engage in taxing labor, even in a good cause. If we should do this, we should be unable to act in the emergencies which arise, when all our influence is required to correct the evils which have come in. The one who is in poor health is in no condition to labor.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 21

    No imprudent work is to be done. In every line God’s mercy, God’s love, and God’s liberality are to appear. My brother and sister, the Lord desires you to be careful of your diet, but at the same time He does not want you to exclude from it the food which the system needs. Your diet should be more carefully liberal. You should not restrict your diet so severely that your blood will become impoverished. I would not say to all, not even to some of our ministers and workers, what I say to you. But the light I have on your case is, Nourish your system. You cannot present yourself as a recommendation of health reform unless you eat as you should, work as you should, and rest as you should. I have passed through an experience similar to that through which you are passing, and I know that it would be wisdom for you to try the eating of some articles of food which in the past you have conscientiously discarded.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 22

    We are responsible to the world as well as to the church. As Christians we should be interested in everything which concerns the human brotherhood. As God’s workers we are bound to make the most strenuous efforts to fulfill the obligations resting upon us. We are to let the light of truth shine forth, striving to promote the common good. We are to do all in our power to relieve the spiritual and physical needs of suffering humanity, delivering the ignorant from the oppressive yoke of wrong habits and customs.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 23

    Brother and Sister Kress, be prudent. Learn carefulness from the recent illness of Dr. Kress. Cherish the strength which is needed so much. Take out-of-door exercise. But you should not be too ambitious, even in taking physical exercise. Be sure to take full, deep breaths. Do not strain the voice. Talk clearly and distinctly. Thus you may do much to aid your recovery. All our ministers should know how to articulate distinctly and how to take deep inspirations when breathing. You know all this, but for your benefit, I remind you of it. Speak slowly. Make suitable periods, colons, and semi-colons; and you will accomplish more by one sermon than is accomplished by three or four sermons where the words are rushed out one after the other. Do not let your discourses exceed thirty minutes. Then you can speak oftener. Two short sermons are better than one long one. The people are more benefited, and the speaker is not over-taxed.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 24

    May the Lord bless you, is my prayer.16LtMs, Lt 98, 1901, par. 25

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